Marketing To Retailers: How A Blog Can Drive Business
It may not be readily obvious how your brand’s or wholesale business’s blog could be relevant to your wholesale sales strategy. But just as B2C blogs use content to build brand loyalty among consumers, a blog can be a great sales tool to help keep your retailers engaged. For those of you who like to use your website as a way to promote your products to retailers, for instance, you can encourage them to check out the blog to access a more in-depth preview of your product line and get a head start on figuring out what to order at the next trade show or in-store appointment. As a supplement to your everyday sales strategies, the trust and emotional benefit built through a well-executed blog can help push a retail buyer to choose your product over the competition. Here’s how.
Marketing to Retailers: How a Blog Can Drive Business
1. A blog will help retailers better understand your brand positioning.
This is especially relevant for brands that are relatively new to the market. Retail buyers are given a large amount of responsibility and autonomy to make purchase decisions in a crowded marketplace. Brand positioning, or the unique space that your brand occupies, can be a difficult thing to communicate, but it’s a crucial component to the buyer’s understanding of whether or not your product is right for their store. By using it to provide broader insight on your brand’s core values and personality, a blog is a tool you can leverage to help retailers clarify what differentiates you from the competition. By highlighting your brand’s voice in a way that resonates with them, you can compel them to engage, trust, and ultimately buy from you.
2. It will increase your website’s page rank.
You want retailers to be able to find your website and see your inventory. A regularly updated blog will help drive organic traffic to your site and therefore increase the overall visibility of your products. Without a blog, it’s easy for your website to stay stagnant. But every time you publish a new post, it becomes yet another indexed page on your site, i.e. another signal to search engines that your site is active.
3. It’s a sales tool that can showcase your products.
A blog creates a great visual opportunity to feature your products in whatever context you want. You may already be using lookbooks or distributing flash drives at trade shows with a visual representation of your product line. Similarly, a blog can bring your products to life in a relatable way, giving you a chance to highlight your product in action. (Click here for more guerrilla marketing ideas for trade shows). One of the simplest ways to turn your blog into a sales tool is by having posts about your products that are linked to your online catalog that include a call to action - whether that’s for retailers to purchase directly on your own B2B portal or to request that the product is added to their next order. These posts should provide valuable information about the product that isn't already available in your catalog, like a more detailed description, recent client successes with the product, or a spotlight on a consumer and why they use it. By using the blog to place your products in a broader context--showing retailers what they’ll look like in the hands of the end user or how well they’ve done in another retail store, you stand a greater chance of closing the sale.
4. It’s a direct channel of communication.
A blog allows your brand to communicate with existing and potential retail buyers long after the trade show or store visit is over. Let them know that your brand’s blog is a great resource for information, and that they can engage with you in turn. Any interaction will help keep your brand at the front of their minds.
5. It allows you to engage with influencers.
The most important element of a B2B sale is trust--the more endorsements and brand visibility you have, the better. Building hype can attract retailers to your products. In this vein, a blog is a platform from which you can approach other popular bloggers, industry experts, and customers to write testimonials, reviews, and stories--all of which can generate positive anticipation and contribute toward your brand’s reputation. For instance, say you’re a brand that makes car seats for babies. You could sponsor a giveaway on a well-known parenting blog, and encourage that blogger to write a review of your product. Publicizing positive commentary from high-profile bloggers and other influencers in your market space could be the difference between a retailer having heard of you or not.
6. It will provide fodder for social media outlets.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough content to share on social media? You know you should have those Facebook and Twitter accounts, but they seem to be in perpetual hibernation. With regular blog posts, you’ll have a steady stream of high-value content to promote through all your social media channels, giving customers and retailers a reason to click that ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button.
7. It will keep working for you over the long term.
The great thing about archived blog content is that it lives on. The life of a post doesn’t end a few days after it’s initially published. If you bring in a new retailer, you can provide them with links to blog posts you’ve written in the past or other posts relevant to your interactions with them. Remember that each click-through is promoting your expertise, products, and services. Whether your brand is leveraging its blog content to communicate directly with retailers, end consumers, or both, a blog can be used in marketing to retailers to build brand awareness and provide something other than a simple sales pitch. With an ability to build confidence, relationships, and sales, a blog could be just the tool that will help put your products on more store shelves.